Linda Evangelista revealed she battled breast cancer twice within a five-year period after initially being diagnosed in 2018.
“It was detected in my annual mammogram,” Evangelista, 58, shared in an interview with WSJ. Magazine published on Tuesday, September 5. “The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me.”
Things took a turn when she found a lump on her breast in July 2022. Upon learning her cancer had returned, the model said she asked her oncologist to “dig a hole in my chest.” She explained, “I don’t want it to look pretty. I want you to excavate. I want to see a hole in my chest when you’re done. Do you understand me? I’m not dying from this.”
Throughout her treatment, Evangelista said she “went into this mode that I know how to do — just do what you’ve got to do and get through it.” While her health has been “good,” she would rather it be “great.”
Evangelista recalled her doctors explaining that once cancer comes back, “there’s a chance [it could return].” She also noted that her Oncotype score — a number that predicts the recurrence of cancer — is “horrible.”
Although tests might show her with “one foot in the grave,” Evangelista said she’s in “celebration mode.” She stated: “I’ve come through some horrible health issues. I’m at a place where I’m so happy celebrating my book, my life. I’m so happy to be alive. Anything that comes now is [a] bonus.”
Her new photo book, Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel, hits shelves on September 13. In addition to the book, Evangelista is set to appear alongside her fellow ‘90s supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington in the upcoming Apple TV+ documentary The Super Models, which premieres September 20.
Earlier this month, the four women graced the cover of Vogue’s September 2023 issue. Evangelista sported a black sequined Michael Kors coat while Crawford, 57, and Campbell, 53, dazzled in black dresses by Bottega Veneta and Prada, respectively. Turlington, 54, also wore black, opting for a matching Versace skirt and jacket.
Before sharing details about her cancer battle, Evangelista has been candid about her health ups and downs. In September 2021, she revealed via Instagram she was “brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised.” Instead of decreasing fat cells, she claimed the procedure “increased” them and left her “permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries.”
She went on to file a lawsuit against the company, and the case was settled in July 2022. “I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me,” Evangelista wrote in an Instagram statement at the time. “I am truly grateful for the support I have received from those who have reached out.”